Logic, Reasoning, Argumentation: Insights from the Wild

Frank Zenker

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/LLP.2017.029


This article provides a brief selective overview and discussion of recent research into natural language argumentation that may inform the study of human reasoning on the assumption that an episode of argumentation issues an invitation to accept a corresponding inference. As this research shows, arguers typically seek to establish new consequences based on prior information. And they typically do so vis-à-vis a real or an imagined opponent, or an opponent-position, in ways that remain sensitive to considerations of context, audiences, and goals. Deductively valid inferences remain a limiting case of such reasoning. In view of these insights, it may appear less surprising that allegedly “irrational” behavior can regularly be produced in experimental settings that expose subjects to standardized reasoning tasks.


argumentation; fallacy; inference; reasoning

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